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‘Dialogue with Alumni’ Inspires Biomedical Science Students

26 Feb 2016

“Every traveller has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.” – Charles Dickens

This was perhaps in the mind of our former Biomedical Science students, when they decided to return to their alma mater for a special occasion. On a bright Saturday, 23 January 2016, the IMU Biomedical Science family welcomed its former students to a mini reunion and dialog with the current undergraduates. This event, organised by the Biomedical Science academic staff with sponsorship from the Student Services Department, was aimed to build a stronger rapport amongst students from various cohorts and the alumni, and provide an avenue for alumni to share their experiences and sage career advice. Twelve Biomedical Science alumni from various cohorts took time off from work to grace this event. DSC_7516 After a short opening speech by event organiser Dr Lim Chooi Ling, the attendees were divided into groups for ice-breaker games. During one of the fun-filled activities, they discovered each other’s unique preferences and practices. Another game elicited rapturous laughter as they tried to pass a carrot placed between their knees without dropping it! The commotion calmed to a more serious tone for the presentation by alumni involved in research and postgraduate studies. Brandon Mong from the BM1/11 cohort begun the session by sharing a presentation of his productive research journey which began in the IMU, to parasitology research in Universiti Malaya (with supervisor Dr Veeranoot Nissapatorn), and subsequently studies in zoology and genetics of biodiversity. Owen Teo (BM1/09) presented next, illustrating his experience as an MSc student at the IMU – receiving research grants, flying to foreign countries for conferences and other exciting aspects of his vocation. As a committee member of BioMedKL, he also raised awareness on the non-profit organisation which serves as a networking platform for local biomedical science graduates. DSC_7519DSC_7510DSC_7594 Following a scrumptious tea break, the stage was set for alumni working in multi-national companies who were identified to share their stories. Carmen See from cohort BM1/10, now a Product Information Representative from Roche (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, highlighted her experience in discovering her passion and subsequent job-hunting. To raise her potential, she also embarked on an MBA programme which she found relevant to her job. Chew Kean Heng, a former batch representative from BM1/12, followed with his heartfelt illustration of challenges and learning opportunities as a medical representative of Zuellig Pharma Sdn. Bhd. As a successful regional haematology sales specialist of Abbott Diagnostics, frequent traveller Marvin Chan realised very early in his undergraduate programme that he would launch a career in this demanding but satisfying line of work.

The take-home message from the presenters were that ‘Determination’ and ‘Perseverance’ were the key to success in a competitive workforce.

The final agenda was the interactive dialogue between the undergraduates and alumni. Enquiries directed to the former students ranged from issues on available job opportunities, to initiatives by biomedical scientists to contribute to the community. As the event ended, attendees mingled to network and exchange ideas. DSC_7549DSC_7558 Feedback from attendees of the event include:

“I like the sharing session by the alumni where we get to know about their experiences and challenges faced during their working life, as well as the possible paths to be travelled in the future.” “The sessions were planned out very carefully and it’s great to see our juniors learning what we have done”

Indeed, this event could only be realised due to the spirit of comradeship amongst graduates of the IMU BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science programme. As the faculty took pride in the success stories of high-flying graduates, they were also reassured by enthusiastic students who now harbour high hopes for a bright future. DSC_7611a Prepared by: Dr Lim Chooi Ling, Event Organiser Team members: Dr Amalraj Fabian Dr Ebenezer Chitra Dr Koh Rhun Yian Dr Valsala a/p Ramachandran Ms Tsen Min Tze

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